When two distant cousins from the canine family came face to face in the middle of the forest, it looked like things were about to get ugly. But what happened shocked everyone!
By, 24 Dec 2019
The first domesticated dogs appeared around 15,000 years ago. And although there's still plenty of gaps in the story, experts believe they evolved from packs of wild wolves who would attach themselves to nomadic tribes.
An ancient story
The wolves would feed off scraps left by the early humans, offering protection from predators in return.
This means that every dog on the planet is related to the wolves that still prowl the earth today.
But for those who still doubt the evolutionary link, a recent Youtube video captured the moment when the modern dog came face to face with an ancient ancestor.
It happened in the forests of Lithuania. Populated by Timber Wolves, they're also a popular dog working spot.
The wolves usually keep their distance. So when an unnamed Belgian Malinois owner saw one approaching his beloved pet, he was a little worried.
But this wolf wasn't looking for a fight. Instead, it had come to say hello to an old friend!
The wolf and the dog greeted each other like long-lost family, then spent a few minutes wresting and play-fighting on the forest floor!
Old friends reunited
Both animals display the same type of instinctual behaviours. During play, both dogs and wolves will often give up the dominant position, which encourages the other animal to continue the game.
They also begin each session with what experts describe as a play bow, a subtle but distinct sign which tells the other dog/wolf that this is all just a game so let's not bite or scratch too hard.
Now check out the canine family reunion for yourself!